Thu, Feb 13, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Chou must serve sentence

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office confirmed yesterday that prosecutors have received the final verdict in former DPP lawmaker Chou Po-lun (周伯倫) corruption case and will summon him to begin his jail term on Feb. 25.

"Prosecutor Hou Ming-huang (侯名皇) received the verdict from the Supreme Court on Tuesday afternoon and has immediately sent out the summons to Chou and Chen Chun-yuan (陳俊源), who is another guilty party in the case and a former Taipei City councilor," said Chen Hung-ta (陳宏達), spokesman for the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office.

"According to the summons, they are supposed to report to us at 10am on Feb. 25 to begin serving their sentences," Chen said.

Chen said that if the two men do not respond to the summons, prosecutors would immediately authorize arrest warrants and police officers would arrest the men on the spot wherever they were found. If the two men go on the run, prosecutors will put them on the wanted list.

Chou and Chen Chun-yuan were involved in the Ronghsing Park development scandal, which surfaced in 1988 when then-Taipei City councilor Chen Sheng-hung (陳勝宏) revealed that seven city councilors, including Chou, and six city government officials had taken bribes from Chiaofu Construction Corp -- the backer of the Ronghsing Park development project -- ?in exchange for the councilor's support of the plan.

These former city councilors and other city government officials took part in the influence-peddling scheme that sought, unsuccessfully, to develop part of the park near the Sungshan Airport and turn it into a commercial-residential zone.

Chou and Chen Chu-yuan were not the only guilty parties in the case but most of other defendants who were found guilty have almost finished their terms.

Chou, 47, who has served as a legislator representing Taipei County since 1993, was accused of taking NT$16 million from the company.

On Aug. 3, 2001, the Taiwan High Court sentenced Chou to six years in prison. Although he said he would give up filing appeals, Chou lodged another appeal with the Supreme Court on Aug. 25 of the same year.

In addition, the high court's verdict also suspended Chou's civil liberties for four years, which will not go into effect until after he serves his jail term. The move will strips Chou of the right to vote and to run for office.

Chen Chun-yuan was sentenced to five years in jail in addition to having his civil rights revoked for three years and four months.

The Supreme Court upheld the Taiwan High Court's decision on Jan. 29 this year, making the verdict final.

In the meantime, Chou resigned as a lawmaker on Jan. 30. On the same day, the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office banned him from leaving the country.

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